Early Childhood Teacher or Leader? Early Childhood Directors’ Perceptions of Their Identity
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionGranrusten, P. T. (2016). Early Childhood Teacher or Leader? Early Childhood Directors’ Perceptions of Their Identity. Journal of Early Childhood Education Research. 5(2), 247–267.
This article is part of the project on ‘Leadership for Learning: Challenges for Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Institutions in Norway’, funded by The Research Council of Norway. The publication of the full report on this project is in progress. The data in this article have a qualitative exploratory design, based on in-depth interviews with 16 directors of ECEC centers in three municipalities in Norway. The theoretical basis includes the concepts of collective professional identity and individual professional identity (Jenkins, 2004), the concepts of leadership professional identity and pedagogical professional identity, developed from Møller (2009), and leadership in "the large and the small community" (Klausen, 2001, 2013). The two questions being examined in this article were: 1) Do the directors consider themselves to be Early Childhood (EC) teachers or leaders? and 2) How does the experienced identity influence the performed leadership? The findings indicate that this sample of directors have different understandings of their identity. Some are very clear that they are leaders; others are equally clear that they are primarily EC teachers but employed in leading positions. However, several also express that they are unsure of their identity, and their level of awareness of their identification seems low.